The Election Commission is singularly responsible for the second wave of Covid and should probably be booked for murder, the Madras High Court said today in the sharpest criticism yet of crowded campaigns for the five state polls that continued in the middle of raging virus cases. The court has threatened to stop the counting of votes on Sunday if a “blueprint” is not in place.
“Your institution is singularly responsible for the second wave of COVID-19. Your officers should be booked on murder charges probably,” the Madras High Court told the Election Commission.
The election body had failed to enforce Covid safety rules like masks, sanitizers and distancing during ampaigning despite court orders, said the High Court.
“Were you on another planet when the election rallies were held,” Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee questioned.
The High Court also asked for a plan to enforce Covid rules on May 2 – the day of the results – by Friday. Without it, the counting could also be stopped, said the High Court.
“Public health is paramount. Distressing that constitutional authorities ought to be reminded,” the court said.
The Election Commission announced a halt to the campaign only on Thursday, with only three more rounds of voting left in Bengal’s record eight-phase election and all other states done with the vote.